Homeward bound

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 5:26am

Do people leave Chek Lap Kok assuming that, should an unforeseen turn of events disrupt their trip, they can rely on Hong Kong taxpayers to bring them home? We might be justified in seeking help from the firms we pay to transport us or put us up but expecting the government to dip into the pockets of fellow citizens to help us out is akin to asking for a state refund for a property investment gone bad.

It is hard to empathise with those frothing at the mouth over the belated return of Hongkongers from Thailand but it is easy to understand their reasoning. The government's major mistake wasn't its dithering so much as its lack of anticipation about how the people of a nanny state would react. Grovelling apologies from the chief secretary and the secretary for security suggest some of our leaders now realise that if your citizenry is taught to rely on a exhaustive set of 'warnings' to tell them how to react to the weather, the chances are they are going to expect to be shepherded home from holiday when protestors close their point of departure.